By, Kristi Sveum MSW, LCSW
We’re all adjusting to what might be a new normal, at least for now. We’re used to going to work every day. However, now we’re spending our days on our laptops in the living room and learning how to have meetings via Zoom. Our children are used to going to school. Now, we have to find ways to keep them busy. All of a sudden we’ve become work-at-home parents who are homeschooling our children. We have to try to remember what Ms. Smith taught us in Algebra 30 years ago.
As if this wasn’t enough, we’re trying to adapt to the entire family being at home 24/7. Any time routines change it is important to take care of ourselves so we do not get overwhelmed.
In this case not only are our routines changing but also life feels out of control. There is just so much uncertainty. We find ourselves constantly anxious and on edge. Then, we watch news conferences and we cringe every time we hear another person was tested positive for COVID-19 in our state. Now more than ever, we need to take time for self-care. What is self-care? Well, I’m glad you asked.
What is Self-Care?
Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. These are unique to each person. I have a friend who loves to clean as a form of self-care. Whereas I need to participate in self-care AFTER I clean. It is important that you plan for self-care. Self-care does not naturally happen. Add certain things to your schedule and let your family know that this is your time. In fact, encourage them to do the same.
Here are several examples of self-care:
- Get enough sleep (7-8 hours for an adult)
- Eat regular nutritious meals
- Video message friends and family
- Cook or bake
- Go for a run or walk
- Engage in relaxation or mindfulness exercises
- Play a game
- Practice deep breathing
- Read a book just for fun
- Take a bath
- Take a nap
- Watch TV or a movie
- Create art
- Listen to music or a podcast
- Write a poem or story
- Watch funny cat videos
- Work on a jigsaw puzzle
- Buy a coloring book and crayons.
- Sew, knit or crochet
These are just a few examples. Pick at least one enjoyable activity every day, even for a few minutes. I encourage you to develop a habit of daily self-care so you can use these strategies even when the COVID-19 crisis is behind us.
Schedule Self-Care Into Your New Routine
One point important thing for people who work at home: Create a work schedule and stick to it. Just because you’re working from home does not mean you have to be available 24/7. It will also be helpful to create a daily schedule for your child. Maybe they could do educational activities for part of the day since they are not going to school. There are a lot of resources online to give you ideas.
If you’re struggling to cope with the COVID-19 crisis, online therapy in Missouri can help
If you feel overwhelmed with anxiety over the COVID-19 crisis, or anything else for that matter, it may be a good idea to see a mental health professional. At Aspire Counseling we have several therapists who specialize in anxiety and see people of all ages. We are now offering online therapy to Missouri residents to promote social distancing. See this blog post by one of our therapists for more information.
Although Online Therapy Is Appropriate For Mental Health Concerns, It Is Not Appropriate For Clients Experiencing A Severe Crisis. If You Are Currently Having Suicidal Thoughts, Please Seek Help Immediately By Calling The National Suicide Lifeline At 1-800-273-8255 Or The Local Hotline At 1-800-395-2132. If You Are Having An Acute Mental Health Crisis, Please Go To Your Local ER. In The Mid Missouri Area, We Recommend Going To The University Of Missouri ER.
Begin Online Therapy in Missouri:
If you’re struggling with your new normal in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis and the need for social distancing, we can help. The therapists at Aspire Counseling are trained to provide therapy services online for a variety of mental health concerns. To being online therapy in Missouri, please follow these steps:
- Contact our counseling clinic and speak to our care coordinator to make an appointment for a free 15-minute consultation to learn more about online therapy.
- Meet with an online therapist for your free consultation. This can be done over the phone or using a video platform to practice social distancing,
- Begin online therapy in Missouri and learn tools to cope with the changes that have occurred in your world!
Other Services Offered by Aspire Counseling
The Aspire Counseling Team believes healing begins when you can look past your hurts, current obstacles, and future worries directly in the eye and can confidently say, “I’ve got this.”
In addition to online therapy, our Mid-Missouri counseling clinic offers a variety of therapeutic services to clients of all ages. Our therapy services include counseling for caregivers, counseling for chronic illness, postpartum counseling, counseling for teens, counseling for college students, counseling for adults, trauma and PTSD therapy, EMDR therapy, counseling for sexual assault and rape, anxiety therapy, counseling for depression, LGTBQ affirming counseling services, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Also, our team of mental health professionals write for our blog on a regular basis. To learn more about our therapy services both in-person and online, please contact our counseling office in Columbia, MO.
About the Author:
Kristi Sveum is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who offers mental health counseling services at Aspire Counseling. Kristi specializes in helping children, teens & young adults. She is passionate about helping young people find a sense of safety, no matter what has happened to them in the past. She takes a cognitive behavioral approach to counseling helping people begin to look at their past, their anxious thoughts or insecurities in a new way.